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kLuo

Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth Series In-Depth Review

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First off, I would like to apologize to the people who I promised a review to a while ago. I have been incredibly busy with classes and have finally found some time in between the holidays to write this review. I originally purchased only one of these rods, but after trying it out, I immediately bought two more. Here are the three that I own:

ESMS69M-XF - Spinning 6'9" Medium Power, Extra Fast action

ESMC69MH-F - Casting 6'9" Medium Heavy Power, Fast action

ESMC610MH-F - Casting 6'10" Medium Power, Fast action

First impressions:

I have owned and fished with a bunch of rods in this price category, but this was my first Fenwick. If Fenwick makes all of its rods like these, I will have to buy some more. I was originally hesitant to get this rod since it was so new, Fenwick normally doesn't focus too much on bass fisherman, and the reel seat seemed...unconventional. Boy did I make the right choice. The rod blank is a light green color, which looks really good actually. On the spinning rod, the reel grip is the bulkiest grip I have ever seen, but also the MOST comfortable I have ever felt. It may look awkward, but it fits my hand perfectly and their claims of being able to fish longer with less fatigue are true. The "TAC" inlay in the handles is also very unique. It looks like cork, but it feels a bit like rubber and is great for gripping when it got wet. I put a coat of U-40 cork seal on the cork parts and this spinning reel seat has become my most comfortable grip by far. For the casting rods, the reel seat is not too much different from other reel seats. The TAC inlay on the bottom where your index finger is makes it more comfortable, but I feel like it comes with the compromise of losing some sensitivity as your fingers are not in direct contact with the blank. On all the rods, there is a nice "Fenwick" logo written on the reel seat in gold lettering that makes the rod look very high class. These rods are VERY light.

Field Tests:

Here are the reels that I matched up with each rod, and what application I used them for:

ESMS69M-XF: Pflueger Supreme MGX size 30 - Drop shot

ESMC69MH-F: Shimano Curado 201E - Jigs

ESMC610M-F: Shimano Curado 51E - Shakey Head

I fished from both a jon boat and from the shore on seperate trips.

Casting/power:

I typically use 1/4 oz weights for drop shotting, and the spinning rod was perfect for it. I don't cast far for my drop shotting, but the extra fast tip was just enough to give me complete control over my bait without fear of over/underworking it. This rod felt slightly less powerful than typical M powered rods, which might be a good thing for drop shotting. I really dislike using ML rods for anything because I feel like I don't have any control over the fish, so for me, this rod was in a good spot because it was less than M, but more than ML. Still more than enough backbone to haul a fish up from 25'. With the Pflueger, this rod setup was feather light.

For my jig rod, I was throwing 1/2 oz jigs with ease. This rod felt less stiff than other MH rods, which I like as well. It is technically rated up to 1 oz, but I would not want to try throwing anything arond that range. When trying 1 oz, I felt like the rod was more floppy than I would like, and I did not feel too comfortable throwing it. I rarely ever use jigs above 1/2 oz though, so this rod was great for my purposes. My old jig rod was a Abu Garcia Verdict, and I hated it because it was too stiff. This rod is much more flexible and can handle 1/2 oz jigs with absolutely no problem. I could cast the jig as far as I wanted to with this rod with no issues.

The shakey head rod was also excellent for its intended purpose. I spoke with a Fenwick rep and he told me that this rod was built as a tube rod, but I have found that it is also a great shakey head rod. I personally like fast action rods for shakey head because I fish a lot of weedy lakes and have to rip it through weeds a lot. I expected this rod to also be more of a ML than a M, but was surprised when it was about the same as my other M powered rods. I threw 3/16 oz shakey heads with no problem at all (may also be because I am using a 50 sized reel).

Sensitivity:

If I had to rate these rods in terms of sensitivity relative to other rods, I would compare it favorably to the best rod blank I own, which is a Daiwa Cielo. The Cielo is made with the same technology as the Steez, and has an MSRP of $300. The fact that I am comparing a $130 rod to a $300 one says a lot to me. I have also heard from others that they compare this rod to St. Croix avids. Again, comparing to a more expensive rod. I had no problem feeling the bottoms of the lakes with all of these rods, and was able to feel very subtle bites from bass.

Conclusion:

In my opinion, this rod is one of the best in its price range. I think the only reason it has not seen a lot of love from consumers yet is because it is a Fenwick and not a Shimano or St. Croix. Also, the lifetime warranty can't be beat. I hope more people discover this rod, as I am incredibly pleased with mine. Great job, Fenwick.

~Kevin

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Great review! I have been looking into these rods and might pick one up later on. I just bought their Elite Tech Ice Rod and will be using it during the winter months.

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Great review Kevin and thanks for taking the time to share it.

I have the 6'9" & 7'4" spinners coming in the mail.

I'd not seen nor heard much about them before ordering them.

You certainly seem satisfied which is making me feel less anxious about the purchase.

I'll let you know how it goes.

btw - for anyone in the market -

you can thank me later - and you will.

Retail on this rod is $129.99

check out these prices - with Free Shipping !

http://www.amazon.co...+smallmouth+rod+

A-Jay

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Thanks everyone! I picked up a Curado 50 and it has been looking for a home. I was eyeballing the 6'10" Fenwick but I have not been able to lay my hands on one or read a review. I also had no idea Amazon had such good deals on them!

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I have to say I agree with this review. I have one of the spinning rods 68mlf I believe. I use it for finess and lighter stuff boy oh boy what a sweet rod and great backbone I am not scared of any bass in the lake with this rod it is truly a great rod..GOOD JOB FENWICK.

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Anyone know how they compare to the Techna AV line that was discontinued?

Thanks

Mike

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Can't tell you much. Was told the AV is heavier than rated. I have a 7' MHF. Lure rating is 3/8-1-1/2 oz. It definitely has more power than any of my other MH rods with the exception of an older 6'6" XMLTi which is rated 3/8-2 oz. Many MH rods top out at anywhere from 3/4 oz to 1-1/4 oz. Reviews seem to point to the fact that the Smallmouth series ratings are darn close. Haven't thrown anything over 1/2 oz. yet on my 6'10" MF Smallmouth rod.

The AV has seen little use because it has more power than I usually need in this area. The Smallmouth will see a lot of use, but only been out locally twice this year. :( Planning on rectifying that. :)

The AV was a lot more expensive rod, However, I like the looks of the Smallmouth better. Not saying the Smallmouth is better built, only that I like its looks better.

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Great review Kevin and thanks for taking the time to share it.

I have the 6'9" & 7'4" spinners coming in the mail.

I'd not seen nor heard much about them before ordering them.

You certainly seem satisfied which is making me feel less anxious about the purchase.

I'll let you know how it goes.

btw - for anyone in the market -

you can thank me later - and you will.

Retail on this rod is $129.99

check out these prices - with Free Shipping !

http://www.amazon.co...+smallmouth+rod+

A-Jay

Since I have been really interested in getting one of these rods and just ordered the 6'9" ML/F - Pfluger Supreme Combo for a smokin price above.... I'll thank you now.

Thanks!

;-)

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Thanks

I have a 7 ft Techna AV and yes it's a very beefy.

So much so I used it for flipping grass on the Big O last weekend and did just fine.

Mike

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I love my seven Fenwicks.

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